Why Isn’t Bill Maher on Satellite Radio?


Is there any logical reason why HBO’s Bill Maher isn’t on satellite radio? Note to Mel Karmazin: make this happen now! Ask Howard Stern how political incorrectness translates into good radio. And who is more politically incorrect than the former host of ABC’s ”Politically Incorrect,” who also, we cannot fail to note, once did a weekly internet talk show — called, in an unaccredited homage perhaps? — ”Amazing Fishbowl.” The internet, for whatever reason, is particularly receptive to libertarian voices. And so is satellite radio.

Clearly Maher is too radioactive for terrestrial radio. Terrestrial radio, as it is presently constituted, is, as bland as unsweetened porridge. But Maher, who was fired from ABC for incendiary remarks on the September 11 attacks, is precisely the sort of voice that appeals to the uncensored satellite radio format. Maher revels in the four-letter-word freedoms of HBO. Maher is a marquee player on the pay cable channel, but the limited one-hour format — which is almost always excellent — ends far too soon.

Enter: satellite radio. According to the figures, the big winner of the HuffingtonPost-Slate-Charlie Rose mash-up debate was Maher, whose questions drew 42 percent of the 1.1 million viewers. The libertarian-contrarian’s straight talk is a perfect fit for free-wheeling satellite radio, where Howard Stern earns hundreds of millions of dollars. Maher has proven that he has an audience, now it is up to satellite radio to offer him a longer form venue.

(image via hbo)